Marubeni Enters the Lifestyle Brand Management Business in the U.S.

Jun. 10, 2024
Marubeni Corporation

Marubeni Corporation (hereinafter, “Marubeni”) has acquired R.G. Barry Corporation (hereinafter, “RGB”), which is a platform of multiple lifestyle consumer brands in the U.S. Marubeni aims to enter the consumer sector in the U.S. through RGB and its lifestyle brands.

RGB was established in 1947. The following year, it launched the world’s first foam-cushioned and washable slipper, Dearfoams, and currently boasts the top share in the U.S. slipper market, a market estimated at approximately US$ 3 billion. RGB also handles a variety of footwear in addition to slippers. Under the vision “We strive to change the standards for comfort and sustainability,” the company recently launched Planet A, a footwear brand that uses environmentally friendly biodegradable plastics, and has developed multiple brands in the consumer lifestyle sector, including the bag brand Baggallini, which has been inspiring consumers to switch to functional fashion.

R.G. Barry Corporation

Consumer values in daily products have shifted in response to behavioral changes resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and increased global awareness of environmental issues. In addition, consumer behavior has evolved with consumer technology advances such as e-commerce and online payments/deliveries. These changes have led many Direct to Consumer* brands into the market to address consumers’ diverse needs in the U.S.

Since its foundation, RGB has realized continuous evolution and growth by offering various brand products that capture the changing needs of consumers. This has been achieved through RGB’s wide range of capabilities in marketing and merchandising, as well as the robust supply chain network the company has been developing over 70 years. RGB’s capabilities are further enhanced by its multi-channel distribution covering both online ecommerce and wholesale relationships.
Marubeni aims to acquire lifestyle brands and expand its multi-brand management business in the U.S. through investments in growing brands where potential synergies with RGB are expected.

Marubeni established the Next Generation Corporate Development Division in 2022 to capture the growth of consumer businesses in Southeast Asia and the U.S., which have high growth potential, with the aim of building businesses that will become new pillars of Marubeni in 2030. The investment in RGB is the first investment in the consumer sector in the U.S. that will be implemented through MGCU Holdings, Inc., a wholly-owned U.S.-based investment platform of the division.

* A business model in which a brand or manufacturer sells products directly to consumers.

RGB Overview
Head Office: 13405 Yarmouth Road NW. Pickerington, Ohio 43147, U.S.A.
Establishment: 1947
Representative: Bob Mullaney
Business Description: Brand management platform developed to accelerate growth and innovation for lifestyle consumer brands including Dearfoams, Baggallini, Planet A and Columbus Product Group
Website: https://rgbarry.com/
MGCU Holdings, Inc. Overview
Head Office: 2187 Atlantic Street, Suite 503 Stamford, CT 06902, U.S.A.
Establishment: 2022
Representative: Taylor Rettig
Business Description: Investment in and management of consumer related businesses in the U.S.